In the competition between ghee vs olive oil, the clear winner is…
Actually, sorry to break it to you like this, but there is no clear winner when comparing ghee vs olive oil. They’re both great. However, there are different uses for these two healthy fats, and when trying to compare them, it’s good to know how to properly use each because there is plenty of room in your diet to consume both regularly.
Production and Uses
Let’s begin this discussion by first understanding how each fat is made because understanding the process will help us understand how to use them.
Ghee is ultimately clarified butter. To make ghee, butter made from healthy, happy grass-fed cows (this part is really important—you’ll see why a bit later) is heated on a stove for several hours. As the butter simmers, the moisture, milk solids, and impurities are removed, and what remains is a casein- and lactose-free, shelf-stable, high-heat premium cooking oil.
When ghee is kept at room temperature, it has a solid, spreadable texture and can remain on your kitchen shelf for months before losing some of its potency (it doesn’t easily go bad). Plus, the process of removing the moisture and milk solids from the butter ends up creating a cooking oil with an extremely high smoke point, making it perfect for sauteing, baking, roasting or frying.
It’s important to note here that there are a few different classes of olive oil. There’s straight-up olive oil, which is usually a bit lighter in color and in price. This oil is typically made by blending cold-pressed olive oil with a more processed oil that was treated with chemicals or heat. While this type of olive oil tends to have a higher smoke point that makes it suitable for higher-heat cooking, we are going to steer our ghee vs olive oil comparison away from this type and focus on the purer, healthier Extra Virgin Olive Oil (aka EVOO).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made by cold-pressing olives. It’s minimally processed and hasn’t been treated with chemicals or heat. EVOO is darker in color, is more flavorful, and retains more of its beneficial properties and nutrients than its cheaper counter-point, olive oil.
However, EVOO has a much lower smoke point, which means that it burns easily when you cook with it. That’s why EVOO is best to use as an addition to foods to help enhance flavors and textures. It’s great drizzled over pasta, as a dip for breads, added to bean dips or hummus, used for slow-simmered sauces, or to make salad dressing.
When wondering about ghee vs olive oil, we’re going to guess that you’re mostly concerned with the nutrient profile of each. And this is where we tell you, neither is better or worse for you! They’re just different and both are great additions to a healthy diet. But for the sake of comparison, here’s a simple breakdown of some of the main health factors.
Ghee stimulates digestion, aids the absorption of nutrients, and reduces inflammation, especially in the gut. Ghee lubricates joints, optimizes skin and eye health, and has an alkalizing effect on the entire body. Western medicine increasingly recognizes the many health benefits of ghee:
- Contains full-spectrum short, medium, and long-chain fatty acids
- Contains omega-3 and omega-9 essential fatty acids
- Contains vitamins A, D, E and K
- One of the highest natural sources conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
- Contains 9 phenolic antioxidants, as well as numerous other minerals.
And it’s important to note that not all ghee is equal in nutritional content. It’s important to use ghee made only from butter that comes from healthy, grass-fed cows, as this ghee is significantly more nutritious.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil reduces inflammation, may reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, and has antibacterial properties.
- Contains omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids
- Mainly comprised of the monosaturated fat, oleic acid
- Contains vitamins E and K
- Is loaded with powerful antioxidants.
Ghee vs Olive Oil: Why Not Both?
In a world of so much polarity, division and competition, let’s not stack our cooking oils against one another, as well. When variety is key to a healthy diet, why limit ourselves? There’s room in the kitchen for both ghee and olive oil, and our guts and our tastebuds will appreciate both!
While we don’t sell olive oil, we sure do sell ghee! Check out our store!